Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies, including updates about the COVID-19 pandemic. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
New Products, Electrified Vehicles Propel Ford to 158K+ November Sales
Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn reported overall U.S. vehicle sales of 158,793 during November, a 5.9 percent improvement compared to last November figures. The automaker credits new products and inventory improvements for the increase.
“Our new products continue to roll, making Ford America’s best-selling automaker for the third consecutive month, a feat last accomplished in 1974,” says Andrew Frick, vice president of Ford sales in the U.S. and Canada. “Ford was also the only major U.S. automaker to beat year ago sales results for November.”
Ford’s electrified vehicle market share increased to 10 percent compared to 5.4 percent last year with Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Hybrid sales of 3,088 and 4,767, respectively.
“On the strength of Mustang Mach-E, Ford delivered record electrified vehicle sales, growing more than three times faster than the overall segment,” says Frick.
For the month, Ford took in 74,000 new vehicle retail orders, up 64,000 vehicle orders over November of last year. Customer orders continued to be filled at record rates, Ford says. In November, 29 percent of Ford retail sales came from previously placed customer orders.
Due in no small part to the success of the new Ford Bronco, the company’s SUVs achieved record November retail sales, up 25.6 percent over a year ago on total sales of 66,390 vehicles. The Bronco family had its highest combined sales since launch – totaling 19,773.
“SUVs had a best-ever November sales performance on record sales of our all-new Bronco family,” Frick says. “We expect growth to continue, thanks to adding an additional 74,000 new vehicle orders in November.”
Birmingham’s OneStream Opens Singapore Office
OneStream, a corporate performance management solutions company in Birmingham, announced its further expansion across Asia-Pacific with the opening of a Singapore office.
OneStream’s new Singapore office will be the third office for the organization in the APAC region, enabling the company to extend its reach in the region and providing APAC customers and partners easier access to its solutions and customer service and support.
The company’s APAC expansion comes on the heels of a third quarter in which the company increased its customer base 40 percent year-over-year and reported 88 percent growth in annual recurring revenue.
“We are excited to continue our APAC expansion and open our newest office in Singapore to assist APAC enterprises seeking to overcome the many complexities within their financial operations,” says Thomas Palmer, managing director of Asia-Pacific operations. “With a unified, scalable solution, OneStream is well-positioned to address those challenges on a global level.
“Over the last few years, hundreds of organizations around the world have transitioned from multiple legacy CPM applications, cloud point solutions, and spreadsheets to OneStream’s unified intelligent finance platform to optimize and streamline their financial close, consolidation, reporting, planning, forecasting, and analysis processes.”
The new office will support the expansion of OneStream’s ecosystem of more than 200 global implementation partners, which includes AMCO Solutions, James & Monroe, Leap Poder, and Taysols, which already are serving the Southeast Asia market.
Cornerstone Community Financial Approved for Expansions
Cornerstone Community Financial, an Auburn Hills-based credit union, has been granted approval from the State of Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services to expand its field-of-membership in both Michigan and Ohio, effective immediately.
In Michigan, CCF now will be open for membership to any and every resident of the entire Great Lakes State, regardless of where they live or work. In Ohio, CCF’s field-of-membership has been expanded to include four additional northwestern counties: Fulton, Henry, Ottawa, and Sandusky.
CCF has six branch locations, 25,000 members, and approximately $365 million in total assets under management.
“This expansion of our field-of-membership is an important and exciting step in CCF’s efforts to bring the convenience, commitment and care of a community-minded credit union to as many consumers as possible,” says Heidi Kassab, president and CEO of CCF. “Expanding our charter allows us to serve more members, including those coming to us for online services. It means we can reach more individuals and serve as a valuable community resource, no matter where they live.”
Lawrence Tech’s Centrepolis Accelerator Gets $150K Grant
The New Economy Initiative has made a $150,000 grant to the Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield to support new and existing small product manufacturers located in Wayne County by members of historically underrepresented groups.
The grant will fund a “MicroMakers Evolution Lab” to serve companies led by women, people of color, veterans, people with disabilities, and companies located in distressed communities.
Services provided to these companies will include product design, design for manufacturability, prototyping, testing, material selection, tool design, marketing and sales support, and financing connections.
Many of the services will be provided by Centrepolis Accelerator entrepreneurs-in-residence, veteran manufacturing executives who have agreed to serve as consultants to accelerator clients. The grant will be combined with funds from other partners in the Centrepolis Accelerator to offer services, support, and funding for promising small local product manufacturers. Funds will be available through Dec. 31, 2022.
Businesses assisted under the program must have 50 or fewer employees and be engaged in manufacturing physical products. The support will include a “success fee” where funds will be returned to the accelerator when client companies hit revenue milestones, resulting in money to be recirculated to other startups through the program. Accelerator officials also said they will work with other startup funding organizations to leverage additional financial support for clients of the program.
“Centrepolis has been blessed by financial support from the New Economy Initiative, specifically previous grants to help us establish a pilot program to support underserved entrepreneurs,” says Dan Radomski, executive director of the Centrepolis Accelerator. “The new program will be focused on helping Wayne County-based Micro Makers, small businesses with physical products, to commercialize and scale their manufacturing operations. The economic impact from this effort cannot be overlooked. As we help our hardware clients grow, we are also sending significant business to the local supply chain that is directly helping with their design, engineering, prototyping, testing, and manufacturing.”
Companies interested in applying for support under the MicroMakers Evolution Lab program should contact Dennis Shaver at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Detroit’s Daniel Brian Advertising Creates First Video Game for Children’s Hospital
The world’s first video game custom designed for a children’s hospital, “Castle on the Coast,” designed by a Daniel Brian Advertising in Rochester, has been released for Nintendo Switch.
The game is a central component of a branding campaign for Valley Children’s Healthcare in Madera, Calif. and stars the hospital’s mascot George the Giraffe.
“Hospitalized children can’t go out and play,” says Daniel Cobb, CEO of Daniel Brian Advertising. “Video games capture their imagination and draws them into a new world where, for a short time, they can put their pain, worry, and loneliness on pause. It is a little bit like meditation or mental yoga in that respect. Except you do not have to convince a 12-year-old to try it.”
Todd Suntrapak, president and CEO of Valley Children’s Healthcare, says, “This video game — the first of its kind by a children’s hospital in the country — is another way we can bring some fun into the kids’ lives we see. And now kids around the world who may help George navigate the journey through the ‘Castle on the Coast.’”
Daniel Brian Advertising commissioned Big Heart Productions and Black Wave Productions to develop video game therapy tools in partnership with their clients. Working with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the team previously designed a virtual reality patient experience for a child who loved dinosaurs.
In a study among critically ill children, those who were granted a wish like this were twice as likely to have fewer emergency department visits and 2.5 times more likely to have fewer unplanned hospitalizations. This inspired the ad agency to co-develop a comprehensive pediatric patient experience and called it “Castle on the Coast.” The goal of the game was to bring children a healing experience, in a game that would be both challenging for adults and easy to play for all ages and various disabilities as well.
It is available globally on PC and Switch for $14.99.
G2 Consulting Group Ranked Among Top National Engineering Firms
G2 Consulting Group, a Troy-based geotechnical, environmental, and construction engineering services firm, was ranked in Building Design + Construction’s “Giant 400” report as one of the Top 100 engineering firm nationally.
G2 Consulting was ranked as “Top” on the following lists:
- 67 in Engineering Firms
- 90 in Office Sector Engineering and Engineering Architecture (EA) Firms
- 74 in Office Building/Core+Shell Engineering and EA Firms
- 84 in Healthcare Sector Engineering and EA Firms
- 85 in Hospital Facility Engineering and EA Firms
- 48 in Medical Office Building Engineering and EA Firms
- 46 in Outpatient Facility Engineering and EA Firms
“We feel fortunate to have great partners, clients, and employees who have all helped us be successful over the past several years despite the challenges brought by the pandemic and disruptions to the supply chain,” says Mark Smolinski, principal of G2. “It was hardly business as usual, and that makes us especially proud of what we accomplished. Our challenge now is to new staff to handle new business and complete it on time and on budget for our clients so we can accelerate our current trend.”
Local Black LGBTQ Small Business Featured in Ally-sponsored GLAAD Change Video
Neon by GLAAD is releasing a four-part “Change Makers” video series to highlight Black LGBTQ small business owners and their impact on their local communities throughout the pandemic.
Presented by Ally Financial, the series will feature one business each month. A Detroit business, Black, Gifted and Whole, is highlighted in the third episode of the series. CEO Guy Anthony is an award-winning ARTivist, community leader, and philanthropist. Diagnosed with HIV as a teen, Guy has dedicated his adult life to the pursuit of neutralizing local and global HIV/AIDS-related stigmatization. His nonprofit, the Black, Gifted & Whole Foundation, is a two-fold intermediary organization that provides scholarships to Black gay men attending college.
Overall, the “Change Makers” video series aims to amplify the stories of local heroes and send messages of support and inspiration to LGBTQ and Black-owned small businesses.